Telephone: 0845 838 2306
Family Law Consultancy
Offering Mediation and Legal Consultancy Services
Family Law Consultancy
Offering Mediation and Legal Consultancy Services
The following will be referred to prior to using our services to confirm that you understand the way we work. We will also refer you to our website for other information on our services and estimates of cost.
Family Law Consultancy.
For our consultancy service.
We offer an initial free 15 minute consultation.
We then offer a legal information meeting from just £99.00. This provides you with legal information / options to consider and information about next stages. This is a confidential and individual meeting
Thereafter we offer an hourly rate option of £175.00-£200.00. Fixed fee options or we offer a case management service. This cost will be tailored to your particular circumstances and placed in writing prior to any work being carried out.
We offer family mediation.
What is family mediation and what are the costs involved?
Our family mediators will assist in resolving any issues you have in making future arrangements for yourselves and your children, where appropriate and required. We offer an initial 15 minute free consultation about our service. The next state is the pre mediation assessment and the cost is from £99.00 - £125.00. The joint meetings are from £175.00 to £200.00 each the difference is dependent on the time of day the meetings take place. We charge extra for evening appointments and weekend appointment. Outcome information / documents will then be discussed with you at the relevant stage but we would offer a fixed fee if this is more cost effective or an hourly rate option of from £150.000 to £200.00 per hour.
Family Mediation and the principles.
1. Mediation is voluntary and it is important that each of you enters the mediation process able to discuss matters freely and without risk of threat or harm. Please let me know if there are any concerns for you about your ability to discuss matters in front of the other person.
2. As mediators we are impartial and seek to help both of you equally. We do not make judgments or express opinions about who may be right or wrong, nor do I take sides. We help you both to reach your own decisions about your futures.
3. As mediators we will provide legal and financial information in an impartial way to help you understand the options available to you. The choices and decisions are yours and we do not make judgments about your individual or joint situation nor provide advice on your “best interests”. We will help you both to reality test the options and discuss with you which solutions might work best for you and your family. If it seems that your proposed solutions are outside the parameters that a court might approve, We will discuss this with you. It is possible and often very helpful for you to have independent advice from a family lawyer during the mediation process. At the end of the process we are able to prepare outcome documents setting out your agreements at mediation.
4. All information including letters, emails and telephone calls from either of you will be shared openly with you both, unless sharing the information might put the safety of either of you or your children at risk. The only exception to this is an address or telephone number which either of you wishes to keep confidential. Please note that mediation does not take place via emails. E-mails will be used for administrative purposes only.
5. Mediation cannot take place if we have prior knowledge of the situation through previous involvement in any other professional role. If any other conflict or perceived conflict of interest arises or emerges we will not be able to continue to act as a mediator.
6. Either of you may end the mediation at any stage. If we think it may be inappropriate or unhelpful to continue we may also end the process. If this is the case then please note we would require any outstanding fees to be paid up to date before we would release any information we may hold.
The Process for financial mediation.
7. Where relevant we will ask you both to provide complete and accurate disclosure of all your financial circumstances, with supporting documents. We will assist you both in identifying what information will be required. We do not verify the completeness and accuracy of the information provided, but you will be asked to sign and date a statement confirming you have made full disclosure. If it later emerges that full disclosure has not been made, any agreement based on incomplete information can be set aside and the issues re-opened.
8. Your financial information is provided on an open basis, which means that it is available to your legal advisers and can be referred to in Court, either in support of an application made with your joint consent or in contested proceedings. This avoids any need for the information to be provided twice.
9. The discussions about terms of settlement are initially on a without prejudice basis and so are legally privileged. This means that your discussions about the issues between you and proposals for settlement cannot be referred to in Court unless you both agree.
10. Mediation meetings are commonly conducted without lawyers present. However, you have the option of taking independent legal advice at any stage of the process.
We will help you to consider whether you might find it useful to seek assistance from other professionals such as accountants, expert valuers or therapists.
11. You each agree not to call your mediator to give evidence in Court, nor will you seek to have any of my notes brought as evidence.
12. At the conclusion of the mediation we will draw up a note of the discussions and if requested a written summary of your proposals for settlement (legally privileged) This privileged summary cannot be produced in Court. You have the option of taking independent advice at any stage of the process, as this may help you assess how the proposed settlement terms will affect your own individual position. We will also on requested produce an “open” summary of your finances which; can be produced in Court.
A formal recording or any agreement can then be prepared on request: including for example the drawing up of any Separation Agreement or draft Financial Consent Order can be dealt with either by us, if you both agree, or a third party as instructed by either of you. Please note that we audio record meetings this is so we hold accurate information as to any agreements reached for the preparation of our outcome documents and agreements. The recordings as kept securely and not released without both parties consent to anyone.
Mediation and Child Arrangements
13. Where relevant, we will discuss with you both whether you wish to invite your children to meet with me as part of the mediation process. This might be relevant where you both wish your children to have the opportunity for their voice(s) to be heard as part of the decision making process. You will both always retain responsibility for the decisions that you take together as parents. Please ask if we have not yet mentioned this, but you would like to discuss in more detail.
14. We offer shuttle mediation or separate meetings for those who cannot for one reason or another be in the same room.
15. Mediators and Lawyers have a professional duty of confidentiality with exceptions:
• The mediation process is privileged. This means that discussions and proposals for settlement cannot be referred to in Court, except with your joint consent or where the law imposes an overriding obligation of disclosure on the mediator or the Court requires certain information, such as the outcome of the mediation. In signing this Agreement to Mediate, you agree not to call me to give evidence in any Court proceedings.
• Where a person (particularly a child) is stated or alleged to be at risk of harm, mediators have a duty to inform the appropriate safeguarding agency so that any concern can be investigated without delay. Indications that a child or adult may be at risk of harm are not automatically shared with all participants in the mediation, as in some cases this could entail further risk. In these circumstances, the mediation would be terminated.
• Where we are required to make disclosure to the appropriate government authority under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and/or relevant money laundering regulations. We may also be under a linked obligation to make such disclosure without informing you and may have to discontinue the mediation without further notice.
• No recording of the mediation meetings or any part of the meetings is permitted. The confidentiality of the discussions in mediation are of paramount importance.
16(a) We do not undertake legal aid mediation so if you continue with us, you are proceeding on a privately paying basis and paragraph 16(b) will apply.
16(b) Unless, you have agreed a fixed fee and paid subject to a letter / email you have received separately. (Note: fixed fee agreements are non refundable once the work commences.)
Fees are payable in advance of each session or as otherwise arranged, are £125.00-£150.00 per person for a pre mediation meeting and £175.00 to £200.00 per person for each joint session, which takes up to 90 minutes. Costs vary due to daytime, evening or weekend appointments. We allow an extra half an hour following this to prepare a note of the discussions.
17. The hourly rate for any work that is required between sessions, for example in drafting documents, writing summary letters or in reviewing financial disclosure is charged at £150.00- £200.00 per person per hour (i.e. for up to 2 hours of paperwork following the meeting, you would each pay £150.00-£200.00) this does not include telephone calls or e-mails, therefore emails and calls may be charged for at £150,00 per hour.
18. If your issues are particularly complicated or you require interim documentation for consultation with your personal adviser/s, the cost will be negotiated separately and in consultation with you both. We will provide you with costs estimates wherever practicable to assist your planning of likely costs.
If you ask us to draft an agreement then we will offer you a fixed fee and place this in writing for you to consider. If you pay the fixed fee and the work is completed then this is you acknowledging the offer of a fixed fee and acceptance is then by way of sending payment. We will then carry out the work and at that stage a fixed fee is not refundable.
19. All charges are pre-paid therefore if you do not turn up to an appointment for mediation the charges will still apply. If you give us at least 7 days notice we will change the appointment without charge. Any less than this and charges will apply.
20. We will send you an invoice for an agreed level of work at each stage of the process. This can be paid by bank transfer or card payment.
21. Your individual mediation costs are paid in advance of meetings. The cost involved in preparing agreements and other documents is also paid in advance. We will provide you with a quote for the works and agree a figure prior to sending you an invoice.
Concerns and Complaints
22. We hope that we will work with you in a fair and balanced manner. Any concern you may have as to practice or the service provided by us should be referred to me in the first instance.
Then use our complaints procedure:
a) send our case manager an email outlining your concerns and attaching any supporting evidence.
b) we will fully review the file and the evidence on the file. This will include any communication, so all emails, attendance notes and documents in and out. We deal with complaints using a factual and evidence based system.
b) we will then respond within 12 - 16 weeks of receiving your complaint.
Email: [email protected]
23. If you receive a decision and are still unhappy or do not understand the decision then there is the opportunity to appeal within 7 days of receiving a decision from us about your complaint. Failing this the file will then be closed. Any decision will then be final.
24. Please be aware that we will not tolerate shouting, aggression or any abusive behaviour to either party during direct mediation meetings, by telephone or email. If this happens we reserve the right to either end the meeting and/or cease to accept telephone calls or emails from thereon. The same applies if there is any shouting or abuse directed your mediator. We make it clear that aggression or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. Should this be an issue we reserve the right to terminate any communication between us and close our file immediately.
Additional matters applicable to online mediation's only
25. Having been referred to this agreement as part of the process and in continuing to use our services you are agreeing to the following additional provisions applicable to online mediation:
• You will not to video or audio record all or any part of the mediation meeting and understand that the confidentiality of the discussions is of paramount importance to the integrity of the mediation process.
• If you create any video or audio recording of the online mediation, inadvertently or otherwise, you undertake to destroy any such recording as soon as you become aware of its existence
• You will not share the content of the mediation with any other person
• You will ensure that you are in a separate room on your own and that no other persons in your household or office, can hear what is being said in the meeting
• You will have done all that you can to ensure that you are not interrupted during the session (e.g., by children, relatives, pets or deliveries)
• You will try to ensure that all applications, other than the on-line service and other devices are turned off to ensure the minimum of disruption to the mediation meeting
• You will let the mediator know as soon as possible if you become aware that something is likely to disturb the focus of the mediation and the confidential nature of the meeting
• You will let the mediator me as soon as a third party enters the room in which the online mediation is taking place; the mediation in these circumstances will need to be suspended and alternate arrangements will need to be made as appropriate
• You understand that the internet connection may be interrupted, in which case the mediation will need to be suspended and re arranged at a mutually convenient time
• You assign all intellectual property rights in the online video mediation sessions to the mediator conducting this mediation.
We ask that you send us a copy of either your driving licence or passport and a copy of recent utility bill to confirm your address.
Our privacy notice can be found on our website at: https://familylawconsultancy/privacy-policy
This service agreement will be referred to at the outset in our initial emails to each party. By continuing the process you are acknowledging that you understand how we work the costs, terms and conditions of this practice.